Introduction of Alexander Kosinets as Head of Belarus President Administration

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The main objectives are to ensure peace and stability, economic progress and good living standards of people, President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he introduced newly-appointed Head of the Belarus President Administration Alexander Kosinets on 30 December.

Reshuffle is a natural process in any country. Nothing stands still and personnel decisions should be in sync with the changing environment, the President of Belarus believes.

“Three days ago I announced a series of personnel decisions in the government and the presidential administration. You are well aware of them. The position of the Head of the Belarus President Administration is one of the key positions in our system of government. We have repeated many times that the presidential administration is the think tank of the head of state. Much will depend on the person who will lead this think tank,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. He described Alexander Kosinets as a skillful and determined leader with many years of managerial experience. Alexander Kosinets used to be the rector of one of the country’s leading universities and the vice premier responsible for social security, healthcare and culture. For many years he was the Vitebsk Oblast governor.

The Belarusian President believes that Alexander Kosinets will be able to handle new challenges due to his proactive stance, energy, determination, and acumen. The head of state is convinced that Alexander Kosinets will give a new and powerful impetus to the work of the Belarus President Administration.

Alexander Kosinets will be assisted by Nikolai Snopkov and Igor Buzovsky who were appointed Deputy Heads of the Belarus President Administration. They both used to work in the presidential administration and have amassed a considerable experience of managerial work. Nikolai Snopkov used to be Economy Minister, while Igor Buzovsky led the country’s biggest youth organization.

The President stressed that “the next year will put all Belarusian authorities to the test; people will assess our work.” “We do not have any extraordinary tasks. The tasks are the same: to preserve peace and order in the country, to maintain economic growth and ensure decent living standards,” the head of state said. Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he does not see any grounds for a price rise in Belarus, because the prime cost of products has not increased. The cost of resources and raw materials has not risen either.

The head of state emphasized that personnel management is the main responsibility of the Belarus President Administration. “You know my requirements: professionalism, full commitment to work, and, the main thing, result. I would also add selfless service to the people,” the President said. He also emphasized that arrogance on the part of public servants is unacceptable. The head of state believes that there are still many problems in the field of personnel management. For example, he noted that the state apparatus is changing too slowly. The candidate pools are used ineffectively in the regions. Today many executive posts in the national and local government bodies are vacant.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that nobody is seriously working with young executives. The practice of mentoring has been forgotten. “Public posts are often occupied by people with a narrow mind of a clerk who are afraid of taking an initiative or do not want to show it, or are not ready to make independent decisions and be responsible for the result,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “The red-tape and rigid state apparatus hinder the development of the country,” he added.

The head of state remarked that his key requirements for personnel remain unchanged. In his words, the latest appointments started the process of workforce rejuvenation. “This policy will be continued in all spheres of our life,” the President stated. “Having people on standby in order to make them into young executives, who are capable of finding prompt solutions in any unconventional situations, should become your everyday task. Otherwise, we will hopelessly fall behind the world, which is rapidly changing around us,” he added.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, it will be necessary to seriously work with the database listing gifted young Belarusians. “It is the key treasure that we should work with. Yes, not all of them but many of them will become executives. We just have to come up with a system,” the head of state believes.

Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced that the man, who knows little about basic work in the industry or the agriculture, cannot be a good minister. “An education minister, who doesn’t know what school and university are all about, cannot be good. People, who don’t know life, cannot be good executives,” he said.

The head of state noted that the improvement of the personnel discipline is the main priority. The requirements for senior executives will be toughened as the situation around the state is dramatically changing, the Belarusian President said.

The decree to enhance the requirements for of senior executives and workers of organizations is a testimony to that. “If someone was complaining yesterday about the lack of authorities, the situation has changed today,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. The document has given additional authorities to executives and toughened responsibility for their work.

According to the President, the human factor is becoming very important everywhere, from ordinary workers and farmers to the prime minister.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that it is necessary to reduce the number of government personnel and functions of government bodies. “We should get rid of the excessive number of public servants and raise the salary for the rest. We should remove all unnecessary functions. We perfectly know what is good for us, and what should be eliminated. We also need to improve the performance discipline,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The head of state believes that cutting red tape will require a lot of efforts. “This is the main task for you and for the government. All the government bodies have enough reserves to improve their performance,” the head of state said.

Apart from that, Aleksandr Lukashenko gave an instruction to create an efficient system of enrollment to the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of Belarus and to monitor the career progress of students. Besides, it is needed to reconsider the approaches to the managerial personnel pool taking into account the economic and social realities.

“We must build a new system to select true professionals and educate the youth. The Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus should play its role here,” the head of state stressed. Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the university should improve its performance. The Academy of Public Administration has not become a true forge of senior executives yet. Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed hope that the issue will be solved next year.

The head of state underlined that economy has been, is and will be the key priority. “If we resolve economic problems, we will fear no misfortunes,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also remarked: “We will be able to handle all the internal and external threats. We will not allow any fifth column to shake the country. But if we allow an economic failure, we may lose everything — people’s trust, stability in the country, and the country itself.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the government is naturally the central economic staff of the country. The government and the National Bank have all the necessary powers and levers. “However, all the other authorities — municipal government, oblast administrations, the Belarus President Administration, the State Control Committee — should work together with the central government,” the head of state said. “You should not interfere with each other’s work yet you cannot divide problems into yours and someone else’s. We have a common problem. We cannot allow economic shocks. We should protect our people and secure positive growth in the forthcoming year,” he added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the Belarus President Administration has to closely monitor the execution of all the decisions made with regard to the economic sphere.

The head of state added that the operation of the social block of the government was also extremely important. He stressed that the Belarus President Administration should keep an eye on this sector, too, even more so since a lot of problems have piled up over there.

Aleksandr Lukashenko urges to build the system of ideological work in accordance with the requirements of the time.

“Direct contact with people is important in ideological work,” the head of state said. He believes that it is essential to streamline information work.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also noted that it is needed to once again analyze the work of leading mass media. “They should use creative approaches, focus on serious, convincing, understandable information, analytical programs. Television should not only entertain, but also educate people,” the President believes.

In his words, the information situation around Belarus has always been complicated. But all attempts to use sophisticated information technologies against us have failed.

Speaking about ideological work, Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Every head of the oblast, town, district, enterprise should remember that he is the main ideologist in his region or company. No one is allowed to forget about ideological work because of the current issues at work. Achievements of the enterprise should be the foundation for ideological work.”

The President also said that the Belarus President Administration should always keep an eye on ideological issues.

The head of state remarked that in addition to matters of domestic politics the Belarus President Administration should keep an eye on foreign politics. “The geopolitical situation in the world and around our country is getting more and more complicated,” the President stressed. In his words, it is necessary to work out and take actions in advance of external threats in association with the government and the Foreign Ministry.

The next year will be crucial for Belarus in many respects. In particular, the Eurasian Economic Union will become a reality. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus cannot surrender its own interests as far as the union is concerned.

“Relations with the West are another matter,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “Yes, there are positive moments both in politics and economy. Let’s continue working in this direction. Yet we must not allow any pressure on us. We will not tolerate any pressure from the West or the East, particularly in view of the forthcoming election, he added”. The President stressed that Belarus pursues a multiple-vector foreign policy.

Speaking about cooperation with the West, the President remarked: “We border on the West and want no clashes — either political or diplomatic ones. Half of our trade is over there. If the West offers cooperation to us, we should grab the opportunity. We will strive to normalize relations with the West. If they are willing to cooperate with us on equal terms and let us know it, we will accept this signal. We have always said: let’s negotiate and come to terms.”

Speaking about relations with Russia, Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Nobody can substitute this country for us today. Belarus will not act to the detriment of brotherly Russia.”

“Coordinating the state policy in legal matters is one of the most important tasks of the Belarus President Administration. The Administration should pay close attention to this function and act more decisively without relying purely on the approaches suggested by other government agencies,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. In his words, a number of legislative initiatives were miscalculated by the government in 2014. The President had to interfere in view of the public opinion expressed in response to ideas of individual hotheads. Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the Belarus President Administration should not remain a simple observer in such cases.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the Belarus President Administration should also keep an eye on legislative efforts of the Justice Ministry since government agencies sometimes complain about the tardiness and poor quality of the ministry’s work.

The approval and adjustment of the bills submitted by the parliament is an important part of the Belarus President Administration’s work in legal matters.

Full-value interaction of the head of state with the legislative and judicial powers is another core task of the Belarus President Administration. All the conditions for the proper operation of the parliament and the court system have been enabled in Belarus. It is necessary to see prospects and improve the work in this field.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the Belarus President Administration should also closely follow the state of affairs in the regions and thoroughly know problems of municipal government agencies and self-government bodies. Aides to the Belarus president, who are in charge of specific oblasts, should play an important part in this work. However, the head of state warned against excessive interference with decisions made by oblast governors.